Gboard is a re-brand of what used to be called Google KeyboardВ and it contains more features over its predecessor including in-built Google search, multiple language support, and integrating smart suggestions into your typing. It also has contextual awareness, so if your grammar is incorrect sometimes it will try fix that too. The app is overall a huge improvement over the old Google Keyboard, as it does everything better than what it used to.
However, the application lacks some options. Some would argue the keyboard is too small. I prefer the keyboard to be small, using as little screen space as possible, but some people prefer it to be bigger as a smaller keyboard can lead to more inaccurate typing, which I do agree with. While there is a “Keyboard height” setting in Gboard preferences, some might find that even the tallest option is not tall enough.
Delving into the application’s data folder located in /data/data, we found some interesting modifiable strings that allow you to modify the keyboard height even beyond its highest level.В This guide requires root access, as we will modify a file located in the /data partition.В
You will need root access on your phone to follow this tutorial. You can get root access by either flashing Magisk or SuperSUВ after unlocking your device’s bootloader. Note, any other modifications you make within the file are not guaranteed to work, and may break Gboard.
Adjust Gboard’s Keyboard Height Manually
Firstly as mentioned you will need root access and some form of root enabled file explorer. You can use MiXplorer from here on XDA if you wish, or another file explorer like Solid Explorer. Make sure to grant root access to the file explorer.
Navigate to the following folder.
And look for the file named com.google.android.inputmethod.latin_preferences.xml. This file contains various preferences relating to Gboard, including the two strings we will look for to modify height and sensitivity. Simply open this file as a text file.
You can use the find feature of your favourite text editor to edit the strings as this is a large file. Firstly search for “keyboard_height_ratio”. You should be brought to a string which looks like this.
You can modify this number any way you like. A larger number will increase the height, a lower number will decrease it. Once you have done this, you have to force close Gboard for it to launch with the new setting.
As you can see, the height has increased. This is because I increased the height from 1 to 1.5. You can set this to any range of values you like, but be careful as a value too large or too small won’t let you edit the file unless you clear data for Gboard or use a different keyboard to modify it back.
Bonus – Possible Swipe Sensitivity Tweak
This is a swipe sensitivity tweak, whichВ may not actually do anything. The string exists and is modifiable, but we don’t know if it actually changes anything as it is hard to tell when swiping. To edit this, navigate to the same file again and this time locate the following string.
And edit the value as you wish. Again force close Gboard (following the screenshots above) and the tweak should theoretically be activated. If you notice a different let us know!
Most application settings are actually just inputs that write a value to a location in a file, and the application reads this for its configuration. These two tweaks do not have a front-end within the Gboard application for changing them, however the app still reads them. These are likely to be experimental features that Google either plan to add or haven’t removed yet. You can have a look through the preferences file and see if you see anything else of interest that may be worth modifying, and if so let us know!
Google Keyboard, which comes pre-installed on Nexus devices (and is available for all others from the Play Store), is one of the most functional keyboards currently available for Android. With features like gesture-based typing, next-word prediction, and even text expansion macros, it’s a very capable form of text input.
The only category that the Google Keyboard can be said to be lacking in is form, not functionality. While some custom themes are available, there aren’t really any other way of customizing the style of the keyboard, so Android users have to look to third-party developers if they want to spruce up the defaults.
This is where developer Amit Bagaria and his Xposed module XCoolDroid come into play. With a simple-to-use interface, this module allows you to resize the Google Keyboard and even the spacing of the keys, all without sacrificing any functionality.
- Rooted Android Device
- Xposed Framework installed
- Unknown Sources enabled
- Google Keyboard
Step 1: Install XCoolDroid
From your Xposed Installer app, head to the Download section and search XCoolDroid, then tap the top result.
XCoolDroid is still in its beta phase, so you’ll have to change one option here to download it. To do this, swipe over to the Settings tab and tap Versions to be shown, then select Beta.
Next, swipe back over to the Versions tab and tap the Download button next to the most recent entry. Alternatively, you can grab the latest APK directly from the Xposed Repository online.
Android’s installer interface should come up after a few seconds, so tap Install on the next screen.
When that’s finished, you’ll get a notification from Xposed telling you that the module isn’t activated yet and that a reboot is in order. Just tap the Activate and reboot button here, and Xposed will take care of the rest automatically.
Step 2: Adjust the Keyboard’s Height & Spacing
When your phone finishes booting back up, go ahead and open XCoolDroid from your app drawer. The XExternalSD option allows apps to save data on an external SD card in KitKat, which is a nice bonus. But the main feature here is under the Google Keyboard entry. Tap that menu item to explore the options.
From here, use the Keyboard Height slider to adjust the overall height of the Google Keyboard. Then, use the Vertical Gap slider to change the spacing between the individual keys. The developer’s default settings of 75% height and 50% spacing are great starting points.
Step 3: Apply Your Settings
When you’re ready to try out your keyboard tweaks, tap the Force Stop Google Keyboard button. At this point, XCoolDroid will ask for root access, so tap Grant on the popup.
Now, just tap any text field to view your changes. As I mentioned earlier, the keyboard retains all of its existing functionality even after you’ve slimmed it down, so gesture typing still works flawlessly.
What percentages did you use to customize your Google Keyboard’s dimensions? Let us know in the comments section below, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
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Tap “ Settings “
Tap “ Languages & input “
Tap “ Virtual keyboard “
Tap “ Google keyboard “
Tap “ Preferences “
Tap “ Keyboard height “
“ Normal ” is a default size.
Move the blue dot to the “ Tall ” to increase the keyboard size.